Ted’s Remarks About Stuff
July thru September, 2011


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Sep. 30, 2011

Anwar al-Awlaki, deceasedAnwar al-Awlaki, al Qaeda terrorist with ties to several other terrorist suspects, has been killed by a joint CIA-military operation in Yemen.  He had been tracked for years before finally being hit by a rocket fired from a U.S. drone aircraft.

Awlaki is the first U.S citizen to be targeted and killed as a terrorist.  He was in a car in which Samir Khan, another American member of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and two other passengers also were killed.  Since the extermination of Osama bin Laden on May 1, the U.S. has killed seven other senior al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen.  Awlaki is number 8.

Perhaps the main factor that made Awlaki even more dangerous than bin Laden was that Awlaki understood the intricacies of the internet and used it to broadcast his messages overseas.  He had numerous You Tube videos, and CDs with his speeches were sold around the world in Islamic bookstores.  He even had his own Facebook page.

I wonder how surprised Anwar al-Awlaki and Osama bin Laden were to discover that they did not have 72 virgins waiting for them.  I bet they were even more astonished to find that they did not end up in heaven.


Sep. 29, 2011

ShofarToday is the Jewish New Year—Tishri 1 on the Hebrew calendar—also known as the Feast of Trumpets or Rosh HaShanah.  It began last night at sunset and will continue through tomorrow.  Technically, though, Rosh HaShanah starts at the moment that the New Moon is in exact conjunction with the earth and the sun.

Shofars, which are the horns of ram’s or wild goat’s, will be blown in celebrations all over the world today and tomorrow.  On a Feast of Trumpets in the future, billions of dead will hear a heavenly shofar blast and will resurrect back to life.  The elect believers who are alive at the time will be instantly changed into brand new forms.  This is the trumpet (or shofar) in these verses describing the main Rapture event:

Listen, I tell you a mystery:  We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. (1 Corinthians 15:51-53)

According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we [believers] who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep [died].  For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command [or shout], with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And so we will be with the Lord forever. (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17)

The ancient Israelites did not know exactly on what or at what hour the New Moon occurred.  Likewise, we do not know on which day or at what hour (Matthew 24:36) of the Feast of Tabernacles that Jesus will appears in the clouds and the Pre-Wrath Rapture will take place.

The ten high holy days from Rosh HaShanah to Yom Kippur are known as the Yamim Nora’im or the “Ten Days of Repentance.”  They are to be days of soul-searching and reflection over the past year, asking ourselves questions such as these:

  • What wrongs have I committed?
  • What habits do I need to correct?
  • What have I done with God’s blessings?

These are special days to pray for forgiveness, to repent of our sins and transgressions, and to praise God for being merciful and good to us.


Sep. 28, 2011

Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani with his sonA pastor in Iran, Yousef Nadarkhani, may be executed as soon as tomorrow, Sep. 29, simply for being a Christian.  He has been given repeated chances to renounce his faith in Jesus Christ, but he has refused.  Evidently, today was his final opportunity to forsake his Christian beliefs, but he refused.

Yousef Nadarkhani Needs International Support

If Pastor Nadarkhani, 32, is executed, it will be an inexcusable travesty and should become an international incident pointing to the fanaticism of Islam.  Even if he is not, this is an example of the extreme intolerance of radical Islam.

I believe that it merely foreshadows the Christian persecution that is coming to non-Islamic nations, including to the USA, as Sharia Law contaminates the West.  It reminds me of these verses from the Book of Revelation:

If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go.  If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed.  This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints. (Revelation 13:10)

I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. (Revelation 20:4)

Sep. 27, 2011

I am glad that Sep 27 has come and gone.  As I suspected, the world didn’t rock and the sky didn’t fall, due to Elenin.  I can’t count the number of emails I received from people who were convinced that dreadful and horrendous things were going to happen yesterday or today, followed by the Rapture tomorrow or soon thereafter.

I have more comments about the alleged arrival of Elenin in my Sep. 21 and July 14 entries.  Here is one of the most obtuse emails I received, with an alleged explanation of Elenin:

Dwarf Star Wormwood:85512, Cometary Planet ELENIN:
Super Earth,Space Ark: City of God(Mountain)

I don’t need to comment on the content of the email; it speaks for itself.  What I will say is that there was a widespread frenzy on the web of people who felt quite certain that Elenin was a super-massive object that was going to create great cataclysms on the earth as it passed by.  That is because they wanted to believe that, so they deluded themselves into believing it.

In reality, Elenin is an insignificant comet, just as NASA said it was all along.  It will come and go, virtually unnoticed.

My greatest disappointment is in the large number of Christians who got caught up in the commotion of thinking that the Sixth Seal was about to be opened, and/or that Jesus was going to appear suddenly, and/or that the Battle of Armageddon was imminent, etc.  My three-part Chronology of Revelation commentary explains how several things have to happen before any of those events will take place.  It is amazing to me how so many Christians have not made the effort to put important eschatological puzzle pieces together.

For one thing, we have not seen massive, unrestrained, worldwide (including in the USA) slaughter of believers, which will take place after the opening of the Fifth Seal (Revelation 6:9).  The souls of these slain saints will cry out to the Lord to avenge their shed blood (6:10), which will be the “last straw” for God that will bring on His “day of vengeance,” following the opening of the ominous Sixth Seal and then the dreaded Seventh Seal.

All of this recent “hype” reminds me of Harold Camping’s longstanding cataclysmic forecast for May 21, which never took place.  His thinking was based more on unsound doctrine and emotion than it was on correct eschatology and logic.  It was a negative reflection on clear-headed, rational-thinking Christians.  As far as I know, he still maintains that the “end of the world” will take place on Oct. 21.  I, for one, am not going to be holding my breath as that date approaches.


Sep. 24, 2011

I completed my Bible reading for 2011 today.  In case you might want to read through the entire Bible in one year, then Rosh HaShanah (the Hebrew new year), also known as the Feast of Trumpets, might be a good time to start.

Chronological Reading of the Bible in One Year

This year, Rosh HaShanah begins at sunset on Sep. 28 and continues through Sep. 30.  It is celebrated for 2 whole days.  Of course, you could print out the list and wait until Jan. 1 to begin reading, if you want to.


Sep. 23, 2011

Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud AbbasIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuAs noted on Sep. 15, both President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made speeches today before the United Nations General Assembly in New York.  Mr. Abbas formally submitted a bid to recognize a Palestinian state.

He declared that negotiations with Israel “will be meaningless” as long as it continues building on lands the Palestinians claim for that state.  He indicated that this construction policy “is responsible for the continued failure of the successive international attempts to salvage the peace process.”

A little while later, Mr. Netanyahu stood on the same stage and stated numerous reasons why that should not happen.  He pointed out how, in 2000, “Israel made a sweeping peace offer that met virtually all of the Palestinian demands.  [Yasser] Arafat rejected it, and then the Palestinians proceeded to launch a terror attack that claimed a thousand Israeli lives.”

Netanyahu also gave a formal invitation to Mr. Abbas to meet with him today and engage in peace negotiations.  After all, they were in the same city and even in the same building.  There was no response from Mr. Abbas.

Here are links to the speeches by Mr. Abbas (3 videos = 42 mins. 52 secs.) and Mr. Netanyahu (1 video = 38 mins. 11 secs.):

Mahmoud Abbas:

Benjamin Netanyahu:

I do not know why Mr. Abbas’ speech could not be included in only one video.  In any case, I feel that Mr. Netanyahu’s speech was masterful and very convincing.  If you want to hear a true statesman speaking, listen to his speech.  Also, since he speaks excellent English, no translation is necessary.

Finally, I like this video and song by Yedida Freilich from Israel (4½ minutes, requires Adobe Flash Player 10.3 to view):

Yedida Freilich Tells the Bloody Truth about the UN

Sep. 22, 2011

On this page is a video of Kate Smith, in 1938, introducing the song “God Bless America,” which Irving Berlin wrote in 1918 (almost 5½ minutes, requires Adobe Flash Player 10.3 to view):

Kate Smith Introduces "God Bless America"

Notice a young Ronald Reagan near the end of the video.


Sep. 21, 2011

I have received numerous emails lately from people who are convinced that Elenin, which I wrote about in my July 14 entry, is a super massive object that is going to wreak a great deal of havoc on the earth and in the sky above us as it passes by, less than a week from now.  Many are thinking that Elenin will cause the great earthquake and the cosmic disturbances of the Sixth Seal, such as the darkening of the sun and the reddening of the moon (Matthew 24:29; Revelation 6:12,13).

NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research SatelliteI am not convinced that Elenin is a dense object that is going to have a significant gravitational pull on our planet.  Furthermore, I do not see how the opening of the Sixth Seal could be imminent.  For one thing, I have not seen the persecution and executions of believers, following the opening of the Fifth Seal (Revelation 6:9,10), to the widespread extent that it would trigger the onset of God’s “day of vengeance” yet.

Interestingly, NASA has announced that a six-ton defunct satellite (UARS or Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, launched Sep. 12, 1991) is plunging to Earth.  The satellite will break apart upon re-entry, and most of the pieces will disintegrate in the atmosphere.  However, several pieces are expected to fall all the way to the earth, and NASA has not yet been able to determine exactly where.

Thousands of objects of space junk orbiting the earthThis is expected to happen sometime late Friday night ET, Sep. 23.  Some have suggested that these heated objects, streaking through the sky, could be perceived as the “falling stars” of the Sixth Seal.  I highly doubt it.  Maybe, at some time in the future, something will cause the power to all the satellites in Earth’s orbit will be cut off, and they all will fall at once, looking like countless falling stars when they do. 

The bottom line is that I am not worried too much about Elenin (which, most likely, is no more than a little comet), nor of the falling satellite.  NASA has answered some questions about Elenin here: Comet Elenin: Biggest Questions (and Answers) From NASA.  Could NASA be hiding something?  Personally, I doubt it.

If there is a large earthquake anywhere on the earth within the next week, I will not be surprised, since they happen sometimes.  I follow earthquakes at Latest Earthquakes in the World — Past 7 days.

However, I see virtually no chance that such an earthquake would be associated with the sun turning dark, the moon turning red, and stars appearing to fall from the sky.  Prophetically, I do not see these things as being imminent.  I do believe that the Pre-Wrath Rapture will occur on one of two days of Rosh HaShanah = the Feast of Trumpets (beginning at sunset on Wed., Sep. 28), but I do not see it happening this year.


Sep. 15, 2011

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moonPalestinian National Authority President Mahmoud AbbasUnited Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on the Palestinian Authority to re-engage in peace talks with Israel.  He stated that “the peace deadlock between the two sides is harming the whole Middle East.”

UN Chief Calls PA to
Return to Negotiations

Ki-moon’s statements came after an announcement that Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas intends to submit a bid to the U.N. for statehood on September 23.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that, on the same day, he will address the UN General Assembly in New York.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuHe also has indicated that his speech to the United Nations would stress that negotiations are the only road to peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, was in the news more than once today.  He spoke out against Syrian President Bashar Assad, saying that Assad has continued to break promises to reform.  He also accused Assad of “escalating violence and repression.”

Ban Ki-Moon, U.N. Secretary General,
Accuses Syria Of Breaking Promises

This is in reference to Assad’s forces being in violation of human rights by attacking Syrian civilians who oppose Assad.  If any type of sanctions against Syria are approved by the U.N. Security Council, however, they almost certainly will be vetoed by Russia and China.


Sep. 11, 2011

Today is the tenth anniversary of the horrific and ghastly attacks by radical Islam on the USA.  Let us keep in our minds and hearts the great sacrifice that thousands of people made with their lives on that day.

Anyone who thinks that the core precepts of Islam are “peaceful” should think twice about this.  Yes, there are “peaceful” Muslims in America who have no intention of doing harm to others.  But many of them have not even read all of their Qur’an, just as many Christians have not read all of their Bible.

There most likely will be future terrorist attacks, though, and I expect them to be widespread and overwhelming.  When that happens, law-abiding Muslims who are threatened by radical Muslims to join them or else be beheaded may think twice about whether their allegiance is to the USA or to Allah.


Sep. 9, 2011

A massive power outage hit parts of southern California, western Mexico, and northern Mexico from yesterday afternoon and through this morning, lasting for about 15 hours.  The power to most areas was on by dawn today.  Almost 6 million people were affected, including all of San Diego with a population of over 1.3 million.

I was not there at the time, although I have friends who were in the dark the entire time—no fun.  An electrical utility worker near Yuma, Arizona, accidentally removed a piece of monitoring equipment at a power substation, and this caused a chain reaction that led to the widespread blackout.

This should remind us how fragile man-made systems, like electrical grids, are.  Such a blackout, or even multiple blackouts, could happen virtually anywhere.  Undoubtedly, the initial thought of many who experienced the blackout was that it was a terrorist attack, since the tenth anniversary of 9/11/01 is near.

Speaking of which...security has been stepped up significantly in New York City and in Washington DC, due to a credible but unconfirmed terror threat.  Law enforcement officials have been pursuing three people who may be in the U.S., based on the detailed information received by the U.S. intelligence community recently.

Incidentally, most people are unaware of the Arabic term “hudna.”  It refers to a temporary period of “truce” or “quiet” that Arabs (in particular, Muslims) have with their non-Muslim enemies.  In their view, this period should last no more than ten years—such as, for instance, from 9/11/01 to 9/11/11.  Hmmm....


Sep. 6, 2011

I went for a drive in the Rocky Mountains this afternoon.  Some of the trees already are starting to change color.  Initially, the skies were clear; then they got cloudy.

     
15-second slideshow

Hermit's PeakI got a good shot of Hermit’s Peak (elevation = 10,263 feet) in the shade.  At first, I was disappointed that it wasn’t in the sun.  But later, when I looked at the photo, I was glad.

This particular mountain, when turned 90°, very much resembles a man’s face, especially when viewed from the location where I was standing.  Where I was located, the features of the face—forehead, eye, nose, lips, and chin—were very distinct.

I think that if it had been in the sun, the facial features would not have been as clear.  Also, from most other locations, the features are not nearly as distinct as they are from that particular point of view.

Click on the photo to the right to see a larger version of Hermit’s Peak.  Then, if you click on the larger photo, you will see it turned 90° so that you can see the man’s face.  If you click on the face, you will see a larger version so that you can see more detail.  It’s pretty amazing, I think.

Hermit’s Peak has been lying there looking into the heavens for eons of time.  Maybe he is looking for the appearance of Yeshua in the clouds.  I know I am.


Sep. 3, 2011

Two main Bible passages referring to the Rapture of believers are 1 Corinthians 15:50-55 and 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17.  Note the term “last trumpet” or “trumpet” in 1 Corinthians 15:52 and in 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

Some believe that the “last trumpet” is the same as the “Seventh Trumpet” of Revelation 11:15, when Jesus will return to the earth to reign and judge (11:17,18).  They believe that the “trumpet” in Matthew 24:31 is not only the “last trumpet” (with which I agree) but also the “Seventh Trumpet” (with which I adamantly disagree).  Here is an email I received, along with my response:


Sep. 1, 2011

I saw a bright object in the southeastern (mostly eastern) sky late tonight.  After doing some research online, my best guess is that it was Jupiter.

 
5-second slideshow

I took the first photo using a 5X zoom.  The second photo was with the highest resolution of my camera, 14.2 magapixels, along with the 5X zoom.

The details of whatever the object is cannot be seen.  There probably is a setting on my camera that would adjust the lighting and provide greater detail, but I did not take the time to figure it out.  I wish I had a telescope to view the thing.


Aug. 31, 2011

It was nice to get out of VERY SMOGGY Los Angeles today (see the first photo below).  I snapped some shots of Long Beach, too.  I flew to Albuquerque to spend some time in the Rocky Mountains.

     
     
20-second slideshow

I also got a few shots of clouds along the way.  I like being able to view clouds from that angle.  It reminds me of this verse, describing the next appearance of Jesus:

Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him.  So shall it be! (Revelation 1:7)
I wish that day would be soon.

Aug. 30, 2011

Hurricane IreneOver the past few days, Hurricane Irene has dumped rain and caused a gigantic mess all the way from North Carolina to Quebec.  Some places experienced record-breaking flooding, and at least 40 are dead.

Hurricane Irene Wake: Deaths,
Flooding, Blackouts State-by-State

Irene was the fourth deadliest and fifth costliest hurricane in U.S. history.  It’s amazing how people on the east coast experienced a hurricane just a few days after feeling a 5.8 earthquake, the epicenter of which was in Virginia on Aug. 23.


Aug. 29, 2011

Smart MeterI’m wondering how many people have had “smart meters” installed on their homes.  Here is Barack Obama explaining the so-called “advantages” of having a smart meter:

Smart Meters — Obama

I am skeptical, as I am about virtually everything that Mr. Obama says.  In particular, I have a problem with the following statement about information collected by smart meters: “All this information will help increase renewable energy generation, provide support for plug-in electric vehicles, and reduce the carbon polution that causes climate change.”  I do not buy any of that.  This other guy’s explanation makes a great deal more sense to me:

Smart Meters

Look at the magnified view of the face of a smart meter, where I have circled the letters “FCC” in red.  This is the Federal Communications Commission, a branch of the federal government.

No one from the electric company has come by my place to install a smart meter.  If someone shows up to do so, I am going to refuse the installation.  I use a whole lot less energy than most people do, and the amount of energy I use does not need to be monitored.  If I choose to monitor it, I am smart enough to do it using the standard meter.  In any case, I certainly do not want the government doing it.


Aug. 28, 2011

There was another huge harvest in my friend’s garden today.  The amount of vegetables that he continues to get out of there boggles my mind.

     
10-second slideshow

As usual, the dinner that he made was outstanding.  I offer to help him with food preparation or with cooking, and sometimes he lets me.  Usually, though, he likes doing it on his own, which is fine with me!

Tonight he put salmon, zucchini, crooked-neck squash, and eggplant on the grill, adding cumin and rosemary as spices.  There was rice on the side.  I guarantee you that it was tastier than you can imagine, not to mention extremely healthful.


Aug. 26, 2011

My friend and I drove into San Francisco from the north today.  It was very foggy from south Marin County into the city, including the entire Golden Gate bridge.

         
15-second slideshow

Tomatoes and Basil...Yum Yum!Later, back at his place, we did some harvesting in his over-grown garden.  I could not resist making a snack of small, fresh tomatoes with basil.  That is like “manna from heaven,” as far as I’m concerned.

Dinner was a masterpiece that my friend put together (and I washed the dishes).  He cooked barley to perfection in a pressure cooker.  Then he added cooked zucchini, crooked-neck squash, mushrooms, garlic, and spinach, all seasoned to perfection.  Plus he roasted tomatoes and basin in the oven.  I think he ought to be a chef in a restaurant.

   
10-second slideshow

What an incredible feast it was!  I had two platefuls.  M-M-M!!!


Aug. 24, 2011

Some friends and I drove to several wineries in Dry Creek Valley this afternoon to do some wine tasting.  My friends bought wine, but I did not.  Some places charged for tasting; some did not.  I tasted only at those that did not charge.  Although I liked tasting different wines, I mostly enjoyed the scenery in the valley.

         
         
30-second slideshow

I rarely drink alcohol, including wine.  The last time before today was during Passover in April.  Alcohol is not a temptation for me; I can take it or leave it.

I advocate that people who do not drink do not get started.  For those who do, keep it minimal.  Never mix alcohol with drugs, whether prescription or non-prescription.


Aug. 23, 2011

A 5.8 earthquake, centered in Mineral, Virginia, was felt over much of the east coast of the USA today.  Some cities that felt the quake were Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston.  The quake caused several cracks in the Washington Monument, which is closed indefinitely.

"Once-in-a-century" quake rocks Virginia

A friend of mine in southern New Jersey was awakened from a nap with the room swaying around him.  Another friend in North Carolina said that the furniture in his livingroom was moving.  A friend in northern New York State did not not feel the quake, but a friend of his in Toronto, Canada, who did.

The magnitude of this quake was nearly the same as one of the quakes I felt in So. CA—the Whittier Narrows earthquake (5.9): October 1, 1987, 7:42 a.m.  I remember that my dog didn’t like that quake too much.

By no means was this the strongest quake I’ve ever felt, though.  The following three were much stronger:

My dog didn’t like those three quakes too much, either.  It’s interesting how all four of those quakes happened early in the morning.  There have been other very strong quakes in So. CA since then, but I happened to be away at those times.  Maybe I’ll be that lucky for future big quakes; they are quite unnerving.


Aug. 22, 2011

I’m hanging out with my friend on his birthday today.  I’ve known him for over 30 years; we used to work together at FHP in Orange County, CA, in the early 80s.

Last night, five of us had a great dinner at Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, which is a vegetarian place.  I had numerous vegetables cooked to perfection in red curry sauce.  I am not a total vegetarian (since I do consume chicken, fish, nonfat milk, and occasionally cheese), but I probably could be.

         

         
30-second slideshow

After going to Costco (where I ate numerous free samples) and Safeway (where I got enough oats and fruit to last for over a week), I relaxed on the deck out back.  Lulu dog joined me there later to catch some rays, too.


Aug. 20, 2011

I am visiting a good friend in Northern California (Marin County).  He has had a bumper crop of vegetables (zucchinis, yellow squash, serrano peppers, tomatoes, yellow and green beans, asian peppers, eggplant, basil, cucumbers, and others) and fruit (plums, apples, lemons) for a couple of months.  It has been an ideal growing season where he is.

Some of the zucchinis are about 18 inches long.  The photos below show only a tiny fraction of what has been harvested since I’ve been here.  We have been eating and eating and eating and are barely making a dent in all of it.  Maybe I finally can gain some weight after having lost 12 pounds (without trying).  His dog (Lulu) likes everything, too, especially apples.

         

         

         

         

         
1¼-minute slideshow

He has been harvesting every three days or so and has been giving food away to whoever wants any.  Often, he will put out a full box of veggies in front of his house, by the street, with a sign on it inviting people to take whatever they want.  It always gets emptied.  I told him that when really hard times hit, his neighbors may be showing up at his front door for food.


Aug. 16, 2011

I found two flowers on the same stem while I was walking.  I think they are petunias.  They were on the sidewalk, and I almost stepped on them.  I was surprised to see that they had not wilted.  I picked them up, brought them home, and put them into a little cup with water.

   
8-second slideshow

As I was examining the flowers, I noticed how similar they appeared.  Both were pink and white, and both had five sides.  They were like little twins.  However, even identical twins are not completely identical; upon closer examination, some differences always can be found, if only on a microscopic level.

It makes me think how grand and extremely creative God is.  He could have made all members of a species from the same “mold” or at least from a finite number of patterns.  But then we would not have the virtually infinite array of plants, animals, and people that we see in the world around us, which makes life a great deal more fascinating than it otherwise would be.


Aug. 9, 2011

Building in London on fire, torched by riotersFor the third day and night in a row, riots, fires, mahem, looting, and attacks on innocent victims have rocked London and other cities.  These have been described as the worst riots since World War II.  This wave of senseless violence was sparked by the shooting of a suspected drug dealer, Mark Duggan, by police last week.

London Riots: Fires Spread
on Third Night of Violence

Businesses that have been around for decades have been broken into, looted, and/or burned to the ground.  Neighborhoods have been ransacked.  Busses and cars have been bashed and burned.  Certainly, some of the rioters, especially in the early stages, were protesting the killing of Duggan by police.  But this has escalated into something far, far more than that.

I believe this out-of-control mania has a deeper origin.  Listen to an audio recording of an interview of two girls, who took part in the rioting, speaking to someone at the BBC.  Here are some of the comments by the girls that caught my ear:

  • It’s the government’s fault.
  • Conservatives.
  • It’s not even a right.  We’re showing the police we can do what we want.
  • It’s the rich people, the people that got businesses, and that’s why all of this is happening, because of rich people.  So we’re just showing the rich people we can do what we want.

Many of these rioters have been protesting the fact that other people have things that they do not have.  This is envy and covetoutness; in essence, it is a violation of the 10th Commandment (Exodus 20:17).  Furthermore, the looters are stealing, which is a violation of the 8th Commandment (20:15).

In Great Britain, and in numerous other nations (for instance, Greece), many have become used to getting “free stuff,” and recent austerity measures have threatened the continuance of these “hand-outs.”  Hosts of youths have been raised in an environment where their every want is an “entitlement” that should be able to be obtained at everybody else’s expense.  I suspect that a majority of them also have been raised without a practical knowledge, acceptance, reliance, and respect of/for God.

This simply is escalating lawlessness (2 Thessalonians 2:3,7; 1 John 3:4), and it will come to the streets of American cities.  It is only a matter of time for this to happen, once the corrupt system collapses, idealistic people realize that the promise of “free stuff” is deceptive propaganda, and continuing to receive it it is merely an idealistic illusion.  Click on the “Wizard of Id” cartoon to see what I mean.


Aug. 8, 2011

The United States Stock Market suffered the 6th largest point drop in history today.  There was a 634.76 point drop, or approximately a 5.55% decline, in the Dow.  This is after a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating three days ago from AAA to AA+.  Markets in nations around the world also fell:

Other World Market Index Changes
MarketChange|MarketChange |MarketChange
Australia-4.18%|England-3.39%|India-1.82%
Brazil-8.08%|Europe-4.43%|Japan-4.43%
Canada-3.68%|France-4.68%|Mexico-5.88%
Chile-6.92%|Germany-5.02%|Switzerland-3.95%
China-1.24%|Hong Kong-6.12%|Taiwan-3.33%

Treasury Secretary Timothy GeithnerA few days ago, tax-cheat Timothy Geithner, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, claimed that there was “no possibility” that the U.S. credit rating would be downgraded.  In reality, he was dead wrong about this.

He also was a big advocate of raising the U.S. debt ceiling last week.  He told us about all the terrible things that would happen if the debt ceiling was not raised.  Yet, very serious things are happening because it was raised.

In my opinion, this dishonest, incompetent, inept oaf never should have been nominated (by Barack Obama) as Secretary of the Treasury, nor should his nomination have been approved by the Congress.  Americans should be enraged if Geithner does not resign.  I know that I will be.

Today, Barack Obama gave maybe the most out-of-touch, irrelevant, and uninspiring speech on national TV that I’ve ever heard.  After the speech, the Dow fell approximately another 200 points.

In Debt Downgrade Aftermath,
Obama Serves Up a Silly Speech

President Barack ObamaHe declared that “we always have been and always will be a triple-A country.”  He is living in an idealistic fantasy; he cannot deem our credit rating to be whatever he wants it to be.

However, he certainly has been very instrumental in causing its downgrade with his failed and disastrous QE1 and QE2 stimulus policies, along with his reckless leadership.  That is what happens when liberal progressivism is in charge, which it has been in the USA since January 2007 (when balance of Congress moved to the left).

Obama, who inherited a AAA credit rating from George Bush, admitted that we’ve been “going through a tough time for the past 2½ years.”  Not surprisingly, he has been the president for just over that period of time.  During that time, I still have seen no one who meets the criteria to become the False Prophet of Revelation 13:11-17 more than Barack Hussein Obama.

Frankly, I find it difficult having respect for any American who voted for this man in 2008, especially if they are ignorant enough to vote for him again.  There were countless reasons why he was the worst choice possible, and being black has nothing to do with it.

I feel that if Democrats have any common sense at all, they will motivate another candidate (such as, perhaps, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) to run against Barack Obama and then support that candidate in the Democrat primary for president in 2012.  Of course, I am not a Clinton fan at all; my point is that just about anybody would be a more competent president then BHO.


Aug. 7, 2011

The value of the U.S. dollar has weakened against the euro and the yen.  This is after Standard and Poor’s downgrade of the U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA+.  Furthermore, the outlook on the long-term rating is “negative.”

Dollar Weakens After S&P Cuts
U.S.'s Credit Rating From AAA

In a statement S&P said, “The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics.”  With economic confidence being so fragile, the U.S. Stock Market, along with markets all over the world, easily could continue sliding downward in the near future.


Aug. 2, 2011

After the debt-ceiling bill was approved by the House yesterday, the Senate approved the bill today by a 74 to 26 vote.  Soon thereafter, President Obama signed the bill into law, thereby raising the debt ceiling through the 2012 elections.

Obama Signs Debt-Ceiling
Plan Hours Before Deadline

Dow Jones Industrials, August 2, 2011Interestingly, although Obama has been pushing for weeks for the House and Senate to raise the debt ceiling, back in 2006 he strongly was against doing so.  Furthermore, when the Senate voted to increase the debt ceiling $850 billion in 2007 and $800 billion in 2008, Senator Obama did not even vote.  Does anyone else notice some major inconsistency here?

It was expected that the U.S. Stock Market would react positively to the raising of the debt ceiling today.  However, the opposite was true; the Dow Jones industrial average plunged 266 points, for the eighth-straight day of stock declines.  This has erased all gains for 2011, going negative for the year.


Aug. 1, 2011

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ)Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords surprised Congress today when she appeared on the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.  She cast a “yes” vote in favor of the bill raising the U.S. federal debt ceiling.  That bill was approved by the House in a 269 to 161 vote.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Pays House
A Surprise Visit For Debt Vote

Congresswoman Giffords was critically wounded in Tucson, AZ, on Jan. 8 by suspected gunman Jared Lee Loughner.  For months, she has demonstrated a remarkable degree of recovery from what easily could have been a fatal injury.

Today, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi recognized Giffords on the floor, saying that she is “the personification of courage, of sincerity, of admiration throughout the country.”  I cannot think of the last thing Ms. Pelosi has said with which I agreed, but admittedly I do agree with that statement.  Go Gabby!


July 30, 2011

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.  Barak expressed an interest in formulating an agreement that would convince the Palestinians not to make a unilateral declaration of statehood in September.

Israel still seeking ways to resume talks with PA

July 25, 2011

Tributes in Oslo, NorwayMemorial services and tributes took place today in Norway as the country struggled to come to grips with the scale of Friday’s bombing in Oslo and massacre on Utøya island.  In respect for the 76 people who died in Friday’s attacks, thousands of bouquets of flowers were laid outside Oslo cathedral.

Anders Breivik, who has admitted to carrying out the destructive bomb blast in Oslo and subsequent shootings in neaby Utøya Island on July 22, has stated that he is “not criminally responsible” for these acts.  Evidently, Breivik manufactured the bomb from large amounts of fertilizer purchased online from a shop in Poland.

Anders Breivik "was on Norwegian secret service watchlist"
after buying chemical haul from Polish retailer

Breivik has described himself as a “cultural” (that is, “nominal”) Christian rather than as a “religious” Christian.  In his manifesto, he has indicated that he does not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  In fact, a true Christian would feel and express remorse for having violated any of the Ten Commandments in the slightest way.

On the contrary, Breivik has demonstrated nothing but satisfaction and contentment with his despicable, contemptible, and loathsome violation of the Fifth Commandment (Exodus 20:13).  This man is no Christian.  Sociopathic maniacs can claim to be anything they want, but their actions and subsequent explanations for their actions show them for what they truly are: fanatical extremists who have no useful place in society or among God’s people.


July 22, 2011

Anders Behring Breivik Anders Behring Breivik
A very large bomb was detonated this afternoon in central Oslo, Norway.  Several people were killed, and dozens were injured in the huge blast.  The bomber has been identified as 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik.

A great deal of damage was done to government buildings, including the office of the Norwegian prime minster and the office of the oil and energy ministry.  A big smoke cloud could be seen rising from the middle of the city after the blast.  The blast has been likened to the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995, by Timothy McVeigh.

Over an hour after the bombing, a man began shooting youths who were attending a Labour party conference at Utøya, a few miles from Oslo.  Initial reports indicated that the man was disguised as a police officer, although later it was determined that he was wearing a blue jumper that had a Norwegian police badge or sign on it.

The shooter was identified as Anders Breivik.  He has confessed to both the bombing in Oslo and the shootings on Utøya Island.  Update:  The death count in the bombing and in the shootings has been determined to be 8 and 68, respectively.


July 21, 2011

The Atlantis space shuttle landed early this morning at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  This brought to an end three decades of shuttle flights by NASA.

Space Shuttle Era Ends with Atlantis Landing

July 20, 2011

I saw a really cool rainbow this afternoon.  It wasn’t even visible for very long.  Fortunately, my camera was nearby.  It actually was a full, complete rainbow, although I was unable to get far enough away from it to capture all of it at once.

     
10-second slideshow

I feel that the rainbow is symbolic of Jesus.  He is the only one who can bring light to a very dark world.  More than ever, we need Him now.

For regions of the world right now that have had major droughts, especially in areas ravaged by terrible famine and starvation, pray that God will bring rain, crops, and food to the people in those areas.  Hopefully, it will not be long before they will see Jesus in the sky, in the form of a rainbow.


July 18, 2011

Syria, officially, has recognized a Palestinian state, with its capital as East Jerusalem.  This was stated by President Bashar Assad in a speech in front of his cabinet in Damascus.

Syria recognizes Palestinian state
with East Jerusalem as its capital

This is only two days after Mahmoud Abbas announced (on July 16) that he, personally, would introduce a motion to the United Nations for Palestinian statehood in September.


July 17, 2011

Most Christians seem to believe that the Battle of Armageddon will take place, or at least will begin, on the day of Jesus’ second advent back to earth.  On the contrary, I believe that this is an erroneous view.

Recently, someone asked me about this.  Evidently, he had noticed that in my Brief Chronology of Revelation chart, I place the Battle of Armageddon and the Seventh Bowl Judgment 30 days after the return of Jesus.  Here is his email, along with my response:


July 16, 2011

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has announced that, in September, he will introduce a motion to the United Nations.  It will be a request that a Palestinian state be recognized by the U.N.

Abbas to personally ask UN for state recognition

It’s looking more and more like something significant may happen in September, regarding Israel and the Palestinians.


July 14, 2011

Elenin out in spaceI have been hearing about this “Elenin” object for awhile.  Some say it is a comet or else the legendary “Planet X.”  Others claim that it is a brown dwarf with very low luminosity, making it difficult to see with a telescope, even if it has very high density.

Many say that, on its way here, this object was in alignment with the earth and sun on the dates that the 8.8 Chile quake (Feb. 27, 2010), the 9.0 Japan quake (Mar. 11, 2011), and other major quakes occurred.  They say that this thing is in our solar system right now and is headed toward a swing around the sun, passing near the earth along the way.

The following video, almost 15 minutes in length, gives a pretty good summary of this cosmic object by someone who feels that it is a brown dwarf—although he seems to think that it is “piloted” (he does not suggest by what or whom), which sounds like a “far-out” notion to me, but anyway:

Elenin Dwarf Star Warning September 26, 2011

Admittedly, I am skeptical.  However, there are many who are saying that the next times of an alignment will be around, Sep. 26 or 27 (just before Rosh HaShanah, which begins at sunset on Sep. 28), Nov. 4 or 5, and Nov. 22 or 23 of this year.  See Key Dates of Elenin Alignments and Proximities to Earth, which is information sent to me that I cannot personally verify to be true.  If no big disasters happen on the earth at these times, then all I can say is “ho hum.”

On the other hand, if something significant happens on or around those dates (such as big quakes and/or tsunamis, which I doubt), then I will sit up and take notice.  In any case, even if the threat is real, there is nothing anybody can do about it anyway except to be in good standing with and obedient to God and to pray that His safety and protection be extended to them, their friends, and their families! 


July 8, 2011

Space Shuttle Atlantis in its final takeoffNASA’s Space Shuttle Atlantis began its final mission today, at 11:29 a.m. EDT, with a 12-day mission to the International Space Station.  It is the 135th and final flight in NASA’s shuttle program.  Once Atlantis shuttle returns from space, the shuttle era will be over.

     
10-second slideshow

Atlantis’ construction began on March 3, 1980.  With the help of lessons learned in the construction and testing of orbiters Enterprise, Columbia, and Challenger, the construction of Atlantis cost about half the time in man-hours spent on Columbia.

On April 9, 1985, Atlantis went into NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  Weighing in at 151,315 pounds, Atlantis was nearly 3.5 tons lighter than Columbia.


July 5, 2011

Massive dust storm in Phoenix, AZA massive dust storm rolled through Phoenix, AZ, late this afternoon.  Flights were grounded at Sky Harbor International Airport, and thousands were left without electricity.

According to the National Weather Service, the dust storm was estimated to reach a peak height of at least 5,000 to 6,000 feet (about a mile), with an aerial coverage on the leading edge stretching more than 100 miles.  Wind gusts approached 70 mph.

For those in the midst of the dust storm, day essentially turned into night until the giant haboob had passed.  Watch a video and view some photos.  Wow!

Big dust storms are common this time of year in the Sonoran Desert of the Southwest U.S., when high winds begin to whip up at the beginning of the monsoon season.  Due to a lack of significant precipitation this past winter, this particular dust storm was much larger than most.


July 4, 2011

USA FlagHappy Independence Day, America.  Today is the 235th birthday of the USA.  I am proud to be an American because I believe the USA has done more to further liberty and human rights in the world than any other nation in history.  How much longer we will continue to be a beacon of freedom is uncertain.

         
         
         
45-second slideshow

Several of us got together in the mountains and have had a couple of nice meals so far.  I also have gone on a stroll through the forest with a dog who belongs to some friends.  She likes to get in the water any chance she gets, and sometimes she shakes it off on me. 


July 3, 2011

Recently, I received a couple of emails from someone who seems to feel that the King James version (KJV) of the Bible is the only legitimate version, while the New International version (NIV) is a “perversion” of God’s Word.  I think that people should believe whatever they want to believe about this topic and that they should read whatever version they prefer.

Sometimes I make direct responses to people who express their dissatisfaction with my choice of the NIV as my preferred version.  My communication with this person involved two emails to me and my two responses back, which you can read if you have an interest:

KJV vs NIV

I do not exclusively refer to the NIV.  I often use BibleGateway.com to look at words, verses, or passages in other versions of the Bible, including the KJV.  It is extremely doubtful that anyone will be able to convince me to prefer the KJV over the NIV.


July 1, 2011

Organizers of the Gaza flotilla are blaming Israel for damage done to two ships, one Irish and one Swedish.  Both ships are docked in Piraeus, Greece.  Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor has dismissed these charges, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asserted that Israel has the right to work against the flotilla.

We have the right to work against "provocation flotilla"

Ten ships expected to participate in the flotilla include the Freedom from Ireland, The Audacity of Hope from the United States, the Tahrir from Canada, the Swedish and Greek Juliano, two Swedish-Greek cargo ships carrying 3,000 tons of supplies, the Italian ship Stefano Chiarini and the French ships Julien Rivoire and Dignity.  The Israel Navy is continuing with its preparations to stop the planned flotilla of 10 ships.

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